Friday, August 19, 2011

Come Heal With Me

Remember the Sabbath to Keep it Holy

My notes from the book (God's Psychiatry): More words were written about this commandant than any other the others. Think about it. Four words and four words only were given to "Thou shalt not kill" but ninety-nine words were given to this commandment.

The first thing we are told is to "remember." It is scientifically impossible for man to forget anything. Every detail of every day of your life is stored somewhere in your brain. However, "forgetting" and "remembering" are two different things. We may not remember what we had to eat three months ago on a Thursday but our brains have stored that meal forever.

God is reminding us through this commandment that this is one thing we must not forget to remember.

To keep the Sabbath, the 7th Day, is to take a precious gift from God. It is our reward for six days of labor. A man named Moshe Wolf (quoted by Sholem Asch in his book East River) said, "When a man labors not for a livlihood, but to accumulate wealthy, then he is a slave."

The Sabbath teaches us that we are not work horses, meant only to work, eat, sleep...we are children of God, born into an inheritance.

The Sabbath was given to each man so that he could be recreated physically and spiritually. It has been proven time and again that we can do more in 6 days with one day of rest following them than we can do in 7 days without rest. But more than just physically rejuvenating, the 7th day spent in rest allows the spirit to catch up to the body.

An old miner once said, "I bring my mules out of the mines for a full day, every 7th day, to keep them from going blind."

"Be still and know that I am God," we read in Psalm 46:10.

Beauty doesn't shout. Loveliness is quiet. Our finest moods are not clamorous. The Divine is not obtrusive. He is reserved and courteous. We need a day to hear his voice.

Mother's Notes in the Margins: The first four commandments are between man and God. The following six are between man and man. This is the last commandment dealing with man and God.

What would our country be like if we really observed the Sabbath as we should?

Psalm 84:10: (Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.)

(Next to "we are in too big a hurry," Mother wrote:) Satan busy.

God doesn't push himself on us but waits patiently for us.

My Thoughts on Both: A few years ago, as my work and ministry seemed to explode around me, I took on the 7th Day of Work attitude. Yes, I went to church but then I came home, marched myself to the computer and started working. Occasionally I'd throw in watching an old movie on AMC or TCM...but mostly I worked. I told myself that I enjoyed it, therefore it wasn't really work.

Then, one day, my back began to hurt. And it wouldn't let up. The pain traveled to my right hip, locked itself in, and then moved on down my leg. The pain was excruciating. I went to doctors. I took pills. I had shots. Nothing gave relief and no doctor seemed to have the answer.

I was forced to stop working because I couldn't sit at my computer very long. For someone who averaged about ten hours a day of work, I was lucky to get three. Ice packs and heating pads and narcotics had become my best friends.

I sat at the dining room table one evening, opened my Bible, and laid my head on it and cried. When I was finished weeping, I looked at the words spread before me:

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it."

The admonition found in Isaiah 30:15 wrapped itself around me like the sting of a father's belt. My strength...was found not in working, but in repentance, rest, and quiet.

I knew the truth of this. I had taught it, for crying out loud. Many is the time I stood before a class or an auditorium filled with people and said, "Psalm 46:10 says, 'Be still and know that I am God.' The word still in Hebrew is raphah. It means to cease. Be still. Stop. Sink down and relax. Abide..."

Oh for the joy of just being with God! A whole day not worrying about working, but enjoying his gift of time. Of family. Of friends. Of the simple joys like watching the children play. Or taking a long walk. Or picnic-ing with loved ones. Watching that old movie.

And, of course, worship.

One thing I have noted. God said for us to "remember the 7th day" so that we "keep it holy." I believe we have confused what He commanded here. He did not tell us that nothing apart from God, worship, prayer, etc. should be enjoyed. He did not say, "If you lie on the couch and watch an old movie...or take your child to a matinee...or sit out by the lake and watch the ducks have broken my law." No...he said "remember"...

I do not worship God but one day a week. That is every day. He is with me constantly, praise Him! Even when I am at my worst, He stands by and says, "Get your hissy fit over with and then let's move on." And I praise Him for that!

Remember to rest. Remember to enjoy this precious gift God has given you. One day a week. One whole day. How marvelous is that?

Photos copyright Eva Marie Everson

1 comment:

  1. A few days later, I came here via Clash of the Titles. Very well said! I've had back issues, I've pushed myself, thinking I don't have that many years left...only to come back to "be still..." and I've learned to rest in Him. Everything that's meant to get done will get done.